The first leg of the Cork underage cross country championships were held in resplendent sunshine at Inchigeela today. The under 17 race proved to be a great day for John Shine who won his first ever race.
Back in the 70’s the late John Shine was one of the leading cross country runners in Ireland, representing Ireland on several occasions. Today it was the turn of his nephew to continue the famous John Shine name.
Leevale’s Keith Linehan set the early pace, going well clear on the first of two laps, with John back in fifth. Going out the second lap John was up with Keith to share the lead, but shortly after he was off in front himself. From there to the finish he battled very strongly to maintain his lead as Timmy O’Donoghue tried hard to close on him. Timmy closed a little but there was no slowing down in the leader who won impressively.
Keith was a good third, with Alec Daunt 5th, closely followed by Richard O’Connor (just back from Spain!) and Aaron Hornibrook, to give Leevale team victory.
Mark Hanrahan gave Jamie McCarthy of Riverstick a good run for his money in the under 19 race, with the two of them going clear of the field at the halfway mark. Jamie, winner of the All Ireland under 18 3,000m on the track, was a good winner ahead of Mark, with Thomas Maunsell fifth and Sean Casey sixth.
Brian Manning, in his third cross country race finished an excellent fourth in the under 13 race, with Christopher Murnane also running well.
Linda Coade had an excellent run in the novice B to finish 5th with Susan O’Reilly 7th.
Ciaran O’Lionaird of West Muskerry, who trains with the Leevale group occasionally, was an easy winner of the under 15 race.
Congratulations to Sean O’Lionaird, on whose land the championships were held, for one of the best organised county championships; for providing one of the best courses; and for the excellent catering afterwards.